Wildland Development Concepts Wildland Development









Beyond the Borders: Gateway City Development and Wildlife around Yellowstone National Park

Bison and Brucellosis

Until recently bison herds in Yellowstone had no natural predators other than man. Under these conditions their populations have grown, peaking at over 3,000 individuals in the last ten years. Bison, which are potential carriers for brucellosis have incurred a heated debate over regulations concerning their migrations out of the park. In severe winters such as 1996-97 large migrations out of the park resulted in the culling of 1,100 individuals by the Montana Department of Livestock. This widely publicized action has gained nation-wide attention and both resistance and support from the public. To see more on this issue click on the following links-


Wolves: Bringing Back the Predator

Since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone in 1995, there has been continued debate on the feasibility of their coexistence both with other wildlife and outside ranchers and homeowners. The controversy has long been separated into two camps, those who support the reintroduction of wolves for both aesthetic and moral reasons and those who oppose the wolves reintroduction for the sake of their pets, property and livestock. Beginning in the 1800ís wolves in the U.S were persecuted for their reputations as vicious killers of livestock and livlihood. Today, many see these animals as a natural and integral part of the predator /prey dynamics that exist in the natural environment. For park managers the struggle continues on formulating a policy to protect both the ranchers and the wolves interests. To see more on this issue click on the following links-



Grizzlies, Elk and Fences

As development continues to increase around Yellowstone, populations of sensitive species such as the grizzly may be adversely affected. According to Mattson et.al (1987) females are more likely to avoid developed areas especially when they have cubs. If development continues the bears available range may be begin to overlap developed areas. If this occurs, there will be increased potentially dangerous encounters between mothers defending cubs and humans. For elk differing issues arise with their potential to transmit brucellosis in the same manner as bison. With the increase in houses and subdivided property the amount of property with fences increases also as landowners begin to protect their investment. Unfortunately the consequences for migratory species is an increase in adverse encounters with the general public. For most species, including the popular grizzly protection ends outside the boundaries of the park.

To see more on this issue click on the following links-